Kamloops MLA reacts to campaign finance bill

By Greg Fry / James Peters
September 18, 2017 - 3:19pm

KAMLOOPS — "The devil will be in the details."

The words of Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Peter Milobar in regards to the BC NDP's amended Election Act legislation introduced Monday.

The bill proposes to ban big money from politics and to limit individual donations to $1,200 per year. The legislation also bans out-of-province donations and caps contributions to third-party advertisers.

"We haven't had a chance to even look at it yet," Milobar told CFJC Today. "But certainly we've long had concerns as a party around government funded subsidies as well as some of the other language that might be in the bill as it relates to how it deals with unions and union secondments of staff during an election."

Milobar has one central concern about the bill.

"I think you want to make sure it's as fair as possible to British Columbians and taxpayers and make sure that there's not an unnecessary burden added to the taxpayers. If there's going to be fundraisers anyways, having the government kind of get in the mix doesn't make a lot of sense."

Under the proposed legislation and taking into account how many votes each party earned in last spring's election, both the NDP and the BC Liberals would stand to receive around $6.8 million each.

So, what do parties do with the money?

"I wouldn't be able to speak to what the proposed subsidy is but typically party's are expensive to run," Milobar says. "There's a lot of background staff that happens on the party side of the equation that has nothing to do with the operation of the legislature, so it's expensive to run. We'll have to see that there's no convenient loopholes."

Allowances will fill fundraising gap for political parties in B.C.